ALHOSN University’s Green Club in cooperation with the American Corner, recently celebrated its 6th annual Earth Day event. H.E. Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State and Chairwoman of the Marriage Fund was the honorary guest at the event. H.E. Ambassador Dr. Saeed Mohammed Al Shamsi, UAE Assistant Minister for International Organizations, Foreign & Humanitarian Aid, Studies & Research, was the keynote speaker for the event. Prof. Abdul Rahim Sabouni, Vice Chancellor and CEO, welcomed the guests in his opening remarks and emphasized ALHOSN University’s active involvement in social responsibilities for a harmonious and cleaner environment.
The event allowed students to participate in a wide range of activities in the spirit of the Earth Day Network’s motto to “Mobilize the Earth.” The well-attended celebration took place in the Library Garden and featured an Inter-departmental Recycled Sculpture Contest, a Public Speaking Contest, keynote speeches, a choral performance, appreciation of ALHOSN custodial staff and a cake-cutting ceremony.
Five teams representing various departments competed on campus to create recycled art sculptures. The sculptures were judged by alumni members, Saif Al Hosani, Leena Haddad and Omar Awni. First prize was awarded to the Urban Planning (UPL) team: Maitha Baloushi, Afra Hameli and Rayesa Mohammed led by Dr. Hisako Kobayashi, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Planning. Four teams participated in ALHOSN’s first public speaking contest at the American Corner with the top position going to Sarah Silawi, Nour Bensbaa and Adnan Mayassi presenting a topic on the negative environmental impact of technology.
In his address, Dr. Adnan Husnéin, Green Club Advisor and faculty member of the Department of Urban Planning, saluted “those students who took on this year’s motto to heart in an effort to mobilize our community and share with the rest of eco-conscious people around the world in mobilizing the Earth.” They indeed proved that “learning can and should be tons of fun!” He also remarked that from such important events “has come a growing consensus that every individual and institution should act as Earth Trustees [or vice-regents as referred to in the Quran], seeking what can be done in ecology, economics and ethics to benefit people and planet earth.” In the long run, Dr. Husnéin observed, that will help society obtain what is hoped would be a healthy and peaceful future.
Ms. Susan Tabler, a volunteer with Recycle for a Cause, was invited to speak at the event. This successful entrepreneur described the role recycling can play in sustainable economic initiatives in developing countries. She also encouraged the ALHOSN Community to reduce their use of plastic, informing the audience of the detrimental impact non-biodegradable bags have on UAE wildlife. Members of Recycle for a Cause, a campaign launched by Abu Dhabi Cause Connect (ADCC) in support of the Philippine Community Fund (PCF) were on hand to sell recycled hand bags, jewelry, and other fashionable accessories which help to provide sustainable solutions for poor communities.
Ahmed AL Suwaidi, President of the Student Council, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. He emphasized the importance of support from the administration at ALHOSN University in helping students become leaders in community outreach. “Being an ALHOSN University student made it easier for me to plan awareness-raising events, because of ALHOSN’s strong commitment to nurture socially responsible students. The presence of Her Excellency Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi and His Excellency Dr. Saeed Al Shamsi, two examples of Emirati commitment to social improvement, had a great impact on me personally and the students who attended the event. It is important to learn from successful leaders who show students the value of social responsibility as it will be our job to help create sustainable initiatives in the UAE in the future.”